America West Airlines (NYSE: AWA) today reported traffic statistics for the month of December, fourth quarter and year-end 2002. Revenue passenger miles (RPMs) for December 2002 were a record 1.7 billion, an increase of 26.2 percent from December 2001. Capacity for December 2002 was 2.3 billion available seat miles (ASMs), up 14.6 percent from December 2001. The passenger load factor for the month of December was a record 74.0 percent versus 67.2 percent in December 2001.
The load factor for the fourth quarter 2002 was a record 73.1 percent, up 4.6 points from fourth quarter 2001. Revenue passenger miles for the quarter increased 25.6 percent to a record 5.1 billion and ASMs increased 17.6 percent in the quarter to a record 6.9 billion versus 5.9 billion in the fourth quarter of 2001.
Year-to-date load factor was a record 73.6 percent, up 1.7 points from 2001. Year-to-date RPMs were a record 19.9 billion, a 4.2 percent increase from 2001. Available seat miles increased 1.8 percent for the current year to 27.0 billion.
The December 2001 results were significantly impacted by the events of Sept. 11, 2001, and a subsequent reduction in America West capacity due to reduced demand. Compared to December 2000, RPMs increased 7.5 percent, ASMs decreased 1.4 percent and load factor increased 6.1 points from 67.9 percent to 74.0 percent.
“America West, like other low-fare carriers, continues to experience impressive year-over-year gains in market share,” said Scott Kirby, executive vice president, marketing and sales. “Our 26 percent increase in traffic is well in excess of the industry average and is driven by tremendous consumer response to our business-friendly fare structure.”